For as long as I can remember, the ARRL Handbook has been an amazing source of technical information for Amateur Radio operators. The book is always carefully researched, and the content is usually current with the technology of the day.
Originally the Handbook was published to help aspiring hams design and build their own equipment; in the 1920s and 1930s, there was virtually NO commercial radio equipment available for the amateur market and early hams were forced to build their entire stations mostly from scratch. The Handbook showed them how.
Following World War II, huge quantities of war surplus radio equipment came on the market at absurdly low prices, and the handbooks of that era were filled with projects to modify and adapt that solidly built equipment for amateur use. In the 1950s, good commercial equipment gradually became more available to the radio amateur, although it was still true until perhaps the 1970s that a dedicated and resourceful ham could design and build a better-performing transmitter or receiver than he could reasonably afford to buy. And the Handbook was there to help him every step of the way.
In more recent years, particularly following the introduction of digital microprocessors in radios along with digital signal processing and custom-designed integrated circuits, commercially manufactured radios have become so advanced and offer such superior performance that it would require many thousands of engineering hours just to duplicate the features of even a modestly priced commercial transceiver.
While the technology has in many ways advanced beyond the ability of most amateurs to build (or even repair) today's sophisticated radios, the Handbook has remained useful and relevant by providing a solid technical background in electronic theory and practice. For more adventuresome hams, the information is still there to design and build power supplies, elegantly simple receivers and transmitters, linear amplifiers, station accessories, test equipment, antennas, and so on.
One of the most attractive features of the Handbook is the selling price. Today's technical reference books often cost $150 to $200 or more. The ARRL Handbook is an amazingly complete and high quality publication, and it's a bargain.
No ham should be without a recent Handbook, and many amateurs proudly display large collections of Handbooks that go back to the earliest editions of the 1920s and 1930s.